A space to gather
This award-winning design by Goom Landscapes offers a functional yet beautiful space for family life to play out
Having made extensive changes to the interior design and overall form of their family home, Christine and Aaron Green turned their attention to the outdoors: with a large north-facing back lawn and striking mature trees, their garden was ready to be transformed. Armed with inspiration and a clear idea of the aesthetic they wanted to achieve, they turned to Goom Landscapes to translate this into a reality.
‘Aaron had put together a portfolio of images on his Houzz page to help guide us’, explains Landscape Architect Jessica Staples. ‘Essentially the images showed clean, crisp lines, seating integrated into the hardscape rather than freestanding elements, and the use of contemporary materials.’
‘There were literally hundreds of images’, laughs Aaron. ‘But they set the scene for what we liked, and ensured we were all working towards the same overall theme.’
‘The setting was great to start with’, explains Jessica. ‘What was missing was a setting within the garden that would draw the family into the space. While there was a large deck, there was no pull factor to encourage them further into the garden.’
Aaron and Christine wanted to keep as many existing trees as possible, and appreciated working with a team who understood their desires and priorities. ‘Right from the first meeting, we connected with Jessica – she really understood what we wanted to achieve. Her commitment to working around the existing trees and her ability to integrate other existing features made the end result really successful.’
As well as the trees, Jessica’s design had to sit seamlessly alongside the existing deck, which connects house with garden, and the concrete walls located at either end. ‘Jessica suggested that we add a step, from the deck down into the garden, concrete paving and floating seats’, explains Aaron. Achieving a cohesive finish, these considered design inclusions ensure the entire space appears as though it was designed and built at the same time.
‘It was this kind of genius that we could only have achieved with someone like Jessica’, offers Aaron. ‘She thought beyond what we wanted, and what was there, to achieve a space that feels like it has always been. We just love it.’
At Goom Landscapes their passion for landscape design is centred on a commitment to creating a place that enhances the clients’ quality of being: a ‘lifespace’ that complements the home and that has been designed for year-round enjoyment.
Achieving this here was no mean feat with a number of challenges along the way, the most significant being the lack of access to the site. ‘The only access they had was a small gateway: just large enough to push a lawn-mower through’, shares Aaron.
With a 4.5m long cast-concrete benchtop, and dining area complete with in-built barbecue, this limited means of access meant that buckets of concrete had to be carried in by hand, before being poured and polished. ‘What looks like a simple concrete form is a showcase of perfection: it is testament to their work’, enthuses Aaron. ‘They were amazing.’
‘The design has great functionality as well as great aesthetic value’, concludes Jessica. ‘Despite being new, it integrates seamlessly with the beautiful trees and has enhanced what was already there to give the family a beautiful space in which to play and entertain.’
Q&A: Aaron & Christine Green
Design brief? We wanted to achieve an outdoor space that embraced simple materials, different levels of concrete and exposed timber, all while integrating what was already in place to achieve a cohesive extension of our interior living spaces.
Favourite part? We love the way the grass interlocks with the pavers and garden – achieving an almost organic blend between the formal and informal areas, rather than just straight lines.
Why Goom Landscapes? We really liked what we saw both on their website and around the city. We knew what we wanted, and they knew how to achieve it. The end result totally exceeded our expectations. We just love it.
0800 466 657 | goomlandscapes.co.nz
Photography: Kevin Clarke